Aim High

Rating: 4.95 stars   148 reviews

Nonprofit Issues:

Children & Youth, Education

Address:

PO Box 410715 San Francisco CA 94141 USA

Mission:

Our mission at Aim High is to create life-changing opportunities during the summer and beyond. Our community: NURTURES the promise and potential of middle school students from low-income neighborhoods. PREPARES students for high school setting them on the path to college and future success. INSPIRES the next generation of teachers and educational leaders. Our vision is to close the opportunity and achievement gaps in Northern California through our transformational summer learning program. We envision every middle school student having access to joyful summer learning, inspired and innovative teachers, and the support they need to succeed in school and life.

Results:

Through high-quality summer enrichment programs, Aim High has touched the lives of thousands of low-income youth in the Bay Area, and continues to employ a diverse group of teachers - 67% of whom are people of color. Aim High's impact is significant: 99% of students say they have an adult or teacher who cares about them 95% of students can imagine themselves as successful college students 79% of students improved their math skills (based on pre- and post-test scores) 87% of students tell us they were challenged at Aim High 90% of students report they are better prepared for the upcoming school year

Target demographics:

Low-income Bay Area middle school youth.

Direct beneficiaries per year:

2014: 1,700 students at 15 campuses

Geographic areas served:

San Francisco, Oakland, Redwood City, East Palo Alto, San Rafael and Tahoe/Truckee, CA

Programs:

Our summer program model aims to close the opportunity and achievement gaps for low-income middle school students by offering an engaging, supportive, and tuition-free summer learning program. The Aim High experience fosters critical thinking, instills academic habits, and cultivates a love of learning. Students participate in four rigorous academic classes in the mornings: Math, Science, Humanities and Issues & Choices. Aim High classes have a low student to teacher ratio, allowing for individual attention and a focus on project-based learning. In total, students receive over 60 hours of academic instruction over the course of the five-week program. In the afternoon, students participate in activities such as art, drama, and sports. Students typically participate for three or four summers, and many return to teach in the program. Aim High continually evaluates feedback, assesses results, and shares best practices in order to deliver a high-quality program.

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

415-551-2301
www.aimhigh.org

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Reviews for Aim High

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have taught with Aim High for 2 summers. The quality of collaboration and investment of teaching and site director staff is outstanding and makes for an empowering and creative teaching environment. The Aim High magic is real and keeps me coming back. Students really get the opportunity to find their creative outlet and explore what inspires them.

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Aim High has been a part of my heart since 2001 when I began working as a TA. It did not take me long to realize how special of a program it was, one that truly brought "magic" to middle school students' summers. Aim High's fun and challenging classes combined with memorable assemblies and field trips are just a few things that set it apart from traditional summer school. And though academics is a huge focus of the 5-week program, Aim High also realizes the importance of social emotional learning, especially during the formative middle school years. Classes like Issues & Choices help students learn and reflect about themselves and the person they want to become. Graduates who return to volunteer and later teach just goes to show how much of a impact Aim High has had on their lives!

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have worked with students in Aim HIgh for over 20 years and have seen amazingly positive results. Aim High has changed the lives of many students and teachers for the better. Aim High is a great program that teaches kids how to learn and teaches new teachers how to teach. I am proud to be a part of Aim High.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I have worked with Aim High for over 15 years. Each year I am amazed by the diversity of backgounds that are represented in the community. The mix of teachers and students is wonderfully diverse and adds a richness to the experience, no matter what it is. Each Friday of Aim High I am exhausted from the work but satisfied by the accomplishment. Working at Aim HIgh has been a very rewarding experience for me and has informed my teaching greatly.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

all of my teaching. Working with such a diverse group of students and teachers has helped me review my practices and has made me a better teacher.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue to make it larger, and find easier ways to fund it.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the positive energy that seems to surround it.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change public education.

Ways to make it better...

I had more time with the students. The program goes by quickly and it seems that at times we just get started together and the summer is over.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding, year after year.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Aim High stands alone in what they do for middle school students and their families in the Bay Area. I cannot say enough about the magic that infuses all that happens on an Aim High campus summer after summer. Students gain confidence and pride in their academic work, their abilities, and themselves. It's impossible to overstate the impact this program has had, and will continue to have, in the lives of SF youth and their parents and caregivers. Educators are given the tools they need to succeed, while important connections are forged for students with local schools, community organizations, and corporate partners, all eager to be involved in changing lives through shaping a life-long commitment to learning. I am so proud to be a supporter and friend of Aim High, and will be rooting for Aim High students, families, and educators always!

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a school social worker and former teacher. I work with middle school students in San Francisco and have seen lives changed by this amazing summer program. Students blossom during the five weeks they spend at Aim High. They come back to school with stories of exploration, new friendships, new interested, increased motivation, and smiles on their faces.

I wish every student I worked with during the academic year could experience what they call the "magic" of Aim High.

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Aim High for the past six years, first as a Teacher and now as a Site Director. As an educator, Aim High has been a great source of inspiration and motivation. Friends would often ask why I never took summers off since summer vacation is often considered a "perk" of a teacher's schedule. The truth is that I didn't take summers off because I found my summers at Aim High to be very invigorating and refreshing. I had the freedom to be creative with developing a curriculum that was project-based with lots of hands-on learning opportunities. I worked with a group of educators who were dedicated to social justice and committed to instilling a love of learning and curiosity in our students. It was very rewarding to be part of the many "ah-ha" moments that our students would have over the summer. The sense of community at Aim High kept me coming back every year. Now as a Site Director, I really appreciate the opportunity to support new teachers in developing skills and discovering best practices. Taking charge of the program logistics has also been a great learning opportunity for me. Summer after summer I continue to feel invigorated by the impact that Aim High has in the lives of our students and our staff. The level of student engagement and support at Aim High inspires students to develop a new confidence in themselves. It challenges them to try new things and take their learning to new levels. Staff members are also inspired by their experience at Aim High. They form meaningful relationships with students as mentors. They see how their hard work has an important impact in the lives of students and their families. Many staff members decide to pursue education as a career based on their experience at Aim High. I feel very lucky to be part of such an amazing organization.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Magic is real at Aim High, where students, staff and community members come together to enact the CORE values each summer, year after year -- Community, Opportunity, Respect, and high Expectations.

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Aim High is exactly what education should be. After an 8 hour day, our kids literally say that they do not want to go home because they want more of Aim High. In my 7 years as a professional educator at a Title I school in San Francisco, I have never seen children not want to leave school - except at Aim High. This organization is special. It instills confidence, leadership, community, friendship, growth, provides opportunities...it's a family. I began working with Aim High 3 years ago as a math teacher and eventually became a Site Director. This program is one in a million. When I imagine what a school should look like and what school should feel like for students, Aim High is my dream. Over the summer, it's my reality. This program is not only incredibly important for students, but also for the adults coming in to the field of education. I work with passionate people every day. Alec and Matt have supported me since the day I became part of the Aim High family. I have never, ever in my life, had a job where I truly felt inspired and supported by my employers and colleagues to this extent. From the founders of the organization to the incredible staff at the Central Office to the enormously talented (and growing!) group of individuals who make up our individual Aim High Sites, this is, in my opinion, the greatest educational nonprofit in existence. I am humbled and honored to be part of such an incredible team.

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

The professional development that Aim High provided to me as a new teacher equipped me with the tools I needed to persist and thrive in my now 10+ years as an educator. Jumping into the Aim High community with both feet allowed me to experience the strong relationship building and love of learning that results in academic and life success for students. Thanks to Aim High, I continue to improve at supporting teachers and students and am more comfortable as a leader in the area of college access for all.

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Aim High consistently proves itself worthy of its strongly positive reputation around the Bay Area. From families to teachers, from students to district administration, people recognize that Aim High makes an enormously positive difference to its participants' lives, it opens doors to opportunities, and it does so in a refreshingly caring way. Academic rigor meets strong community values at Aim High. Teachers and students come away from the program with strengthened confidence and hope.
After 30 years in the field Aim High continues to move forward in its efforts to serve Bay Area families. Funding is wisely spent to give students a broadening summer experience.

 
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